Archive for Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Broken Arrow principal waiting to hear from parents before deciding how he’ll split his time with Wakarusa Valley

Parents of children at two Lawrence elementary schools are reacting to the idea of sharing a principal this coming fall. The move will save the school district money in the face of budget woes.

April 7, 2010


Broken Arrow Principal Brian McCaffrey sees his assignment for next year as a chance to work with two successful teaching staffs and schools instead of just one.

Lawrence school district leaders this week tapped McCaffrey to split his duties next year between his current school and Wakarusa Valley School to save the district money.

“We want to put together the best scenario for both schools, and at the end of the day, we want to do what’s best for kids,” McCaffrey said.

Due to the state’s budget crisis, the school board in March made $4.6 million in cuts for next year, including administrative restructuring that will force the schools to share a principal starting in the fall.

Wakarusa Valley Principal Elias Espinoza has resigned effective the end of the school year to pursue other job opportunities in the Kansas City area.

McCaffrey said he planned to meet soon with Wakarusa Valley staff members, seeking input before he plans how he will spend his time between the two schools.

The district said when McCaffrey is not at Broken Arrow, South Junior High administrators will take on supervisory roles because the schools are on the same campus in the 2700 block of Louisiana Street.

When McCaffrey is not at Wakarusa Valley, which is southwest of Lawrence, the district will designate a lead educator for the school.

Broken Arrow has about 270 students, and Wakarusa Valley serves about 210 students. The schools are about seven miles apart.

Amy Gottschamer, who has two children at Wakarusa Valley, said parents want the school to be able to build on programs, like a focus on enhancing science education through emphasizing nature because the school is outside the city.

“We would certainly hope that (McCaffrey) would be excited about it as we are,” she said. “We look forward to working with him on that, as well as continuing the academic excellence that Wakarusa is known for.”

McCaffrey said he won’t go in and try to change a whole lot at Wakarusa Valley.

“I know they are strong academically, and they are doing a lot of good things out there,” he said. “My goal would be to build on their strengths.”


Paula Kissinger 8 years, 1 month ago

Wakarusa Valley will soon discover that they are getting the best part-time principal in the district. Brian is the greatest !

Robert Kidder 8 years, 1 month ago

Wakarusa has an exceptional group of students and supportive parents. I am sure that the warmest welcome will be extended to Brian McCaffrey. He is well known for being a great principal, earning the respect of parents and the confidence of students. His leadership during these troubled times will be appreciated.

patgilbey1 8 years, 1 month ago

Well done, Principal McCaffrey will soon discover he will be leading some of the best students and staff at Waky Valley! So here's a high five to the new guy and get your "Wolf" den shirt on!

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 1 month ago

Personally, to me and it is strickly my opinion, this seems like to first step to combining the two schools into one, which was spoken on within the cuts this year.

Just interesting to see what happens after next year.

gr3sam 8 years, 1 month ago

This is the first brilliant move of the Dolt administration! "[A]t the end of the day, we want to do what’s best for kids." And Dolt is rewarding this attitude!!!!! Somebody wake me up!!

Espinoza has been lauded by students, teachers, staff and parents. Mr. McCaffrey has an outstanding reputation, as well. Sounds like he'll be welcomed by all, and is coming into a great situation. Best wishes! :)

devobrun 8 years, 1 month ago

Say, Brian, since you don't have enough to do. I have some cattle out that way. Maybe you could look in on them a coupla times a day on your trips between schools. Atta boy.

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